Thursday, May 18, 2017 6:08 pm
One of the two hostages freed by the Joint Task Force (JTF), in Bayelsa last weekend said he spent 50 days in the kidnappers’ den in the waterways.
Mr Suleman Yinusa, who is in his 50s, said the experience in the hands of kidnappers was a tortuous one but applauded the JTF’s professionalism in rescuing two of them.
Yinusa narrated the ordeal to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Yenagoa on Thursday at the headquarters of JTF a.k.a. Operation Pulo Shield.
Yinusa, who hails from Danjuma Local Government Local Government Area of Kastina, said he was one of the six passengers that boarded a passenger boat from Abonema waterside in Rivers to Soku in March.
Soku is a boundary settlement between Rivers and Bayelsa.
He said the victims were blindfolded and taken to the Oluasiri Creeks in Bayelsa where they were held after being beaten.
“They kept us for good 50 days in the creeks and killed some of those whose families could not raise the ransom demanded, and released those whose relatives met their demands.
“They have a boy that they call the ‘Killing Officer’, I was taken to him and he removed the blindfold and told me that he would kill me at the expiration of the time they gave my people to pay to secure my release.
“They demanded N10 million but my people could not even get N1 million; they further reduced the ransom to N2 million and my people offered them N100, 000 and they beat me up mercilessly.
”They said that my people were playing with my life and took me back to detention; they had scheduled to kill me today, but as God would have it, the military rescued us four days ago.
”Unfortunately the other man was hit by a bullet during the rescue operation.
“They took us out of the creeks and the other man was taken to hospital where he is receiving treatment”, Yinusa said.
According to him, the rescue operation was as a result of the kidnappers shooting at the troops on patrol near the camp where they were held.
He said the military raided the camp and freed the remaining two hostages as the kidnappers escaped following the superior fire power of the military.
Rear Admiral Suleman Apochi, Commander of the JTF commended the efforts of the troops that freed the victims and recovered some arms and ammunition abandoned by the hoodlums.
The commander assured that the military remained committed to providing a safe and conducive atmosphere for economic activities in the Niger Delta. (NAN)